A New Plan To Protect Disabled New Jersey Drivers [AUDIO]
Beginning August 1st, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission will require drivers with disabilities to get re-certified by a doctor every three years in order to get a handicapped placard and license plates for their car.
The policy change is being made to address a problem that continues to get worse - people improperly using disability placards, and falsifying them, to be able to park in handicapped spaces all over the Garden State.
"The average person will look at it and not even think about parking in a handicapped spot, but we've found that people are actually doing it throughout the state, and we know that it is a growing problem," says MVC Chief Administrator Ray Martinez.
He says new disability placards will be issued to those who truly need them, and the new cards will be easily identifiable to a police officer or mall security, as they're going through parking lots.
"And there will be no opportunity for unscrupulous people to change the expiration date, which will help to weed out abuse".
Bridgewater Police Chief Rich Borden says another problem is that many people apparently believe if a friend or someone in their family was ever issued a disability placard - even if they've passed away - they can now use that placard to park wherever they want.
"It is almost a will type of situation," he says. "We have heard the term will being used- that someone can will these documents to a person- obviously no legal thing exists like this…It's like they thought this was almost a right that they received, it was almost something passed down from a family member to you, even though you are perfectly physically healthy."